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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  October 30, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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send money to the american red cross. call 1-800-redcross or go to their website to donate online or text the words red cross to 90999 and make a $10 donation. 90999. they will thank you for it an$2. 90999. you will have done a useful thing. now it's time for "last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. new jersey's republican governor chris christie has a new best friend, president obama. >> hurricane sandy bearing down on the entire eastern seaboard. >> bearing down on 60 million people across at least a dozen states. >> from delaware to north carolina. new york and new jersey. >> this was a devastating storm. >> in atlantic city part of the famous boardwalk has washed away. >> ground zero, floodwaters rushing into the construction site. >> many homes completely covered. >> massive six-alarm fire in new york's borough of queens. >> 3 feet of snow in parts of west virginia. >> 7.8 million people without power.
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>> flights are canceled. subways are shut down. >> the federal government is closed. the new york stock exchange is closed. >> we're a week from election day. >> just seven days to go. >> i don't give a damn about election day. >> this storm is not yet over. >> the president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. >> the election will take care of itself. >> i will tell you, this administration could give a damn less about election day. >> they talked about people having a hard time. >> governor romney did attend an event in ohio. >> why ohio? why choose ohio? >> his campaign describes it as a storm relief event. >> if you have more canned goods, bring them along. >> you need fema and need support. >> fema is about to run out of money. how do you deal with something like that. >> take something from the federal government and send it back to the states. >> you need fema and you need support. >> and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> mitt romney can't show up on the east coast right now. he has to stay away. >> the president has been all over this. >> listen to your state and local officials. >> he deserves great credit. >> this storm is not yet over. >> the october surprise is here.
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we begin tonight with the devastation from the massive storm called sandy. the death toll continues to rise. within the hour, it has gone from 43 deaths to 50 as a result of the storm. at least 23 of those deaths are in new york state, 18 here in new york city alone. president obama has declared disasters in 11 states, as well as washington, d.c. since sunday the worst of the damage is in new jersey and new york. the president is scheduled to survey the damage in new jersey tomorrow with republican governor chris christie. more than 6 million homes and businesses are still without power. half of those in new york and new jersey. some subway tunnels in new york are flooded. the city's subway system could be out for at least four days.
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commuter train tunnels connecting new jersey to manhattan are also flooded. that service will likely be out for at least a week. jfk and laguardia airports are closed, but newark airport has partially re-opened according to governor chris christie. the number of flights canceled is now more than 16,000. federal offices will be opening tomorrow in washington, d.c. there are plans also to get markets up and running on wall street tomorrow morning. in new jersey, the cost of the storm, according to the governor, is, quote, almost incalculable. speaking to reporters today, the governor said this. >> we want to make sure people have enough food and water for a while, which is why we're working with the salvation army and the american red cross to bring in mobile kitchens to serve thousands of meals. we are also using fema food and water resources. we just were given a look for
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the first time of portions of the jersey shore. houses are moved off of their foundations. there are houses in the middle of route 35. the level of devastation at the jersey shore is unthinkable. >> what governor christie saw once in the air, neighborhoods still under water, beaches and boardwalks gone, homes completely destroyed. >> the view from the ground, much of the same. this video of a flooded neighborhood was taken by an nbc crew in ocean township, new jersey, today.
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governor christie's aerial tour of new jersey also gave us a clear view of the devastation in atlantic city. the city's casinos are largely undamaged. the storm saved the worst for the poorest neighborhoods where water flooded many homes and apartments. we turn now to battery park in lower manhattan, which bore the brunt of the storm here in new york city. for the latest from nbc news, anne thompson. anne? >> reporter: good evening, lawrence. you know, 8 million people share 400 square miles in what makes up new york city. those people are a tough, resilient bunch, but after this storm, even the most prepared realized they weren't prepared nearly enough. even new york bowed to the furious power of nature. gusts of 57 miles an hour ripped the face off this building as sandy's winds and rain tore
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through the city. a record storm surge, almost 14 feet, flooded lower manhattan filling the brooklyn battery tunnel with water. the force too much for the city's power grid. floodwaters shorting out this con ed substation. 750,000 new yorkers lost electricity. >> trying to get information. no one has power. no one has internet. >> reporter: adding to the misery, daylight revealed. >> it's amazing. i mean, cars are completely destroyed. they were submerged under water. i mean, i'm floored by what happened. >> reporter: no borough was spared, from this oil tanker beaching on staten island to a beach community in queens. >> this is a massive storage unit from a construction site. it floated over here or was blown over here, get this, all the way from across the street. you see those other containers that are there right now. >> reporter: the mayor said this may be the worst storm in the city's history. >> the damage we suffered across
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the city was clearly extensive, and it will not be repaired overnight. >> reporter: the subway system that carries 5 million people is flooded and could take four days to repair. water damage to laguardia's runways will keep it closed for at least another day, and 1,000 feet above midtown manhattan, that crane still dangles, keeping streets down below blocked off. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: the rush of water and wind at south street seaport toppled street lights and carried mannequins a block from their store. >> you can see that line, above six feet. >> reporter: at this nearby apartment building, the challenge, to get nine feet of water out of the basement. >> we have only one generator outside pumping it, and that could take days. >> reporter: an enormous task sure to test new york's patience. new york will return to normal, and it will take a big step tomorrow morning when the opening bell rings at the new york stock exchange. the exchange has been closed for
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two consecutive days, something that the weather hasn't done since 1888. i'm anne thompson in battery park. now, lawrence, back to you. >> thank you, anne. president obama visited the red cross today in washington and said this. >> this storm is not yet over. we've gotten briefings from the national hurricane center. it is still moving north. there are still communities that could be affected, and so i want to emphasize, there's still risks of flooding, there are still risks of downed power lines, risks of high winds. >> joining me now is mark merritt, the president of whit associate, a public crisis and safety management crisis consulting firm. he was a special adviser to louisiana after hurricane katrina. mark, you worked in fema also. what is the fema response in a situation like this now when there's multiple states to respond to at the same time? >> good evening, lawrence. fema's mission is to support the state and local governments when
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it exceeds their capacity. an event like this, it becomes that much more challenging. fema has the capacity, they have ten regions they can draw resources from around the nation and bring them to bear where they're much needed. in the case of this storm, fema has leaned forward and pre-positioned those resources in those states. they've been there for days before the storm making landfall. >> what are common mistakes made in situations like this? >> well, the common mistakes are not understanding what the needs of the state and locals are. getting out in front and not having good lines of communication. i think what you've seen in the past in some of the disasters that have been portrayed as failing is because you didn't have that good, clean, crisp lines of communication that you're seeing now. when you hear governors like governor christie stand up and say that the coordination has gone extremely well, that's a good sign that things are actually doing what they're supposed to be doing and what they used to do back when james lee was in charge of fema. >> yeah. and how important is it to have the president involved speaking
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directly to governors like chris christie? >> it's absolutely critical. the president sets the tone for the response, and in this case the president did the right thing. he came back. he allowed his emergency management team, which was led by craig fugate, the administrator, to do what they needed to do, and he stood back and provided them the resources he needed through the federal agencies to ensure everything is being done quickly. he's made it pretty clear, at least to me, that they're not going to be failing to respond to this event. >> and i just want to talk to you about the fema budget and how their resources are deployed. there has been some talk in congress in the last couple of years of cutting it substantially. there are certain budget proposals that have been out that would cut it as much as 40%. what would that do to fema operations? >> i think it would devastate fema operationally, but more importantly, it would have a huge impact on the state and local governments' ability to respond and recover from disasters. they need to be able to know
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that fema is going to be there with the resources and funding that are necessary not only to save lives but protect property and ultimately rebuild their infrastructure that's been devastated by these events. without that infrastructure, those communities will cease to exist, and our economy will take a devastating blow. >> mark merritt, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. coming up, republican governor chris christie is very glad that barack obama is president, this week anyway. and later, mitt romney had a campaign event that he refused to admit was a campaign event. karen finney and jonathan capehart will join me on that. and mitt romney thinks things will magically change for the better, and he got one newspaper to believe him. that's how he got their editorial endorsement, and that's in the "rewrite." congre. in celebration of over 75 years of our government employees insurance company, or most of you know it. ...i propose savings for everyone! i'm talking hundreds here... and furthermore..
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new jersey governor chris christie gave the keynote address at the republican national convention. today he spoke in favor of something very few republicans
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support, federal government intervention in the states. that's next with steve kornacki and joy reid.
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email marketing from constant contact reaches people in a place they're checking every day -- their inbox. and it gives you the tools to create custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at i, quite frankly, don't care about the election at this moment. i've got lives to protect and rebuild in my state, and if the president of the united states does a good job, i will praise him, and if he does a bad job, i will criticize him. but he has done a good job in the last few days for new jersey, and so he deserves and has earned my praise, and he'll get it regardless of what the calendar says. >> today republican governor
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chris christie, keynote speaker at this year's republican convention and an early endorser of mitt romney has a new best friend, barack obama. >> i spoke to the president three times yesterday. he called me for the last time at midnight last night asking what he could do. i said if you could expedite, designate new jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to clean up the damage here. the president was great last night. said he would get it done. at 2:00 a.m. i got a call from fema to answer a couple final questions, and then he signed the declaration this morning. so i have to give the president great credit. he's been very attentive and anything i've asked for he's gotten to me, so i thank the president publicly for that. he's done, as far as i'm concerned, a great job for new jersey. he accelerated the major disaster declaration for new jersey without the usual red tape. i can't thank the president enough for that. the cooperation from the president of the united states has been outstanding. the president has been outstanding in this. he's been incredibly supportive
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and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election. the president's been great. the president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit. he gave me his number at the white house, told me to call him if he needed anything, and he absolutely means it. >> that's great. >> it's been very good. it's been very good working with the president, and his administration has been coordinating with us great. it's been wonderful. >> after talking about his new best friend this morning on fox news governor christie was asked about his old friend, mitt romney. >> is there any possibility that governor romney may go to new jersey to tour some of the damage with you? >> i have no idea, nor am i the least bit concerned or interested. >> right. >> i've got a job to do here in new jersey that's much bigger than presidential politics. if you think right now i give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me. >> joy reid, did you speak to your best friend three times yesterday? >> you know what, only twice. >> yeah, see. he spoke to president obama three times yesterday.
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that's best friend stuff. >> yeah. they're bigger besties than any other besties that i know of. it's incredible. and it's funny because he's not any surrogate. he's the guy who's supposed to make mitt romney more authentic because he's got a real, regular guy that's his friend. but you know what, the truth of the matter is chris christie has never been accused of being the world's best surrogate. he didn't exactly give him a ringing endorsement at even the convention. the speech seemed to be more about chris christie 2016. and the truth of the matter is there aren't a lot of politicians whose main political feature is intense personal loyally to mitt romney. this is a guy that doesn't have a lot of political leaders that are loyal to him, so at a time like this, christie is doing the right thing. he's putting his state first. he doesn't care about politics and his top priority is not helping mitt romney. >> steve, you watched chris christie and new jersey politics for a long time. there's a way to do this. he doesn't have to use the word "praise." he can just say president obama has been very responsive and
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he's been good and, you know, you can pick perfectly positive adjectives that aren't superlatives and no one will fault you for talking about it that way. should we think that he's going out of his way to praise the president, or is this kind of a natural reaction from him? >> i think there are two things going on here. and i don't want to be too cynical about it. because i think -- >> oh, go ahead. it's after 10:00. >> let me start with the benefit of the doubt version, which i would say is the most important thing to understand about christie from this standpoint is that he's as ambitious as any politician. what separates him from a lot of other ambitious politicians is he really genuinely loves the job he has now. you think of mitt romney when he was governor of massachusetts. it was a stepping stone. that's all he wanted out of that job. chris christie has wanted to be governor of new jersey his whole life. and the new jersey political culture is this very sort of quirky and insular thing. the governor is vested with more constitutional authority there than anything else. i think he really -- there's something about the role he plays in new jersey politics now. he relishes who he is in that
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state, what he represents to that state. when something like this comes along, this is the ultimate test of gubernatorial leadership in new jersey. that said, if you want to look for the more cynical interpretation, it's this, to survive in new jersey, to survive as a republican in a blue state, chris christie's strategy has been to seek out and to publicize high-profile partnerships with members of the other party. cory booker, the mayor of newark, is the most prominent example of this. he's done it with a number of mayors in new jersey. he's done it with a number of prominent democrats in the legislature. and it gives him this image that absolutely is essential to him surviving in new jersey and in an election. and he faces re-election next year, that, hey, this is not a national republican who's unwilling to work with democrats. this is a republican who gets along with them. in that sense, this is the most high-profile example of something he's been doing for a few years now. >> frank rich tweeted today, maybe it turns out that christie is the october surprise. let's listen to what charles krauthammer said about this today. >> christie's praise, i don't want to be cynical, but that's probably worth a couple hundred mill, so as a governor, why not
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say what you got to say? >> he didn't want to be cynical either, steve. but he was more cynical than you were. more cynical. so, joy, this -- there was a lot of guessing when this storm started. who does this help politically? this thing we're looking at right now looks like a positive for the president, although trying to make those calculations literally in this storm i think is next to impossible. >> right. no, it's difficult, and i think it also helps chris christie because christie looks authentic, looks like he's putting his state first. the problem for mitt romney is he's an also ran in this story no matter how you look at it. anything he does is going to look crass. like, for instance, having a relief rally in ohio, for instance, rather than going to where the damage is. so anything he does looks almost by nature too political. and he can't actually do anything. he can't do anything certainly for chris christie. going around with mitt romney and his secret service detail through the affected areas of new jersey would actually cause more problems and wouldn't help at all, whereas going around with the president helps him look at the damage, really view it for himself.
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he can actually get something out of doing that with the president. i think romney unfortunately is the odd man out. >> and here are the words that chris christie can never say again in this campaign. he said this just 11 days ago in virginia. let's listen to this. >> he never anything in his life, so the president doesn't know how to lead. i mean, watch what he's been like for the past four years. he's like a man wandering around a dark room, hands up against the wall, clutching for the light switch of leadership, and he just can't find it. and he won't find it in the next 18 days. >> now 11 days. >> steve, he's just erased every statement like that that he's made, and he made a lot of them over the last couple months. >> yeah. but i think you're seeing, to pick up on joy's point, chris christie is one of the most prominent republicans nationally right now. i think he's also one of the most well-liked because he will separate himself in sort of unpredictable ways from the national republican party brand. one thing he did in new jersey a
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year or two ago was he stood up for a muslim judge who was under attack from the republican party. one of the very few prominent national republicans who really stood up to the islamophobia in the party. and i think, you know, it gives him a certain amount of credibility in moments like this. that's why i know the political calculation is so impossible here, but i can't think of something that the obama campaign would want more politically at this point than chris christie, somebody of that stature from the other party saying the things he's saying now a few days before the national election. i mean, politically, that's got to be advantageous or obama. >> joy reid and steve kornacki "the last word's" senior new jersey political analysts. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, mitt romney's newest lie. that's going to be next. and in the "rewrite," what does mitt romney have in common with richard nixon? the answer, a lot. follow the wings.
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hello, everyone, i'm lynn berry. the white house says president obama will visit the ravaged atlantic city, new jersey,
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boardwalk with governor chris christie later today. superstorm sandy left a giant crater where the boardwalk's rides and attractions used to be. meanwhile, electrical service is coming back online for the estimated 8 million people left in the dark. forecasting it, they think it will end up costing $20 billion in damage. now we'll send you back to "last word with lawrence o'donnell." the captains of industry who run american automobile companies have a word for people like mitt romney -- liar. and next, in the spotlight, mitt romney's campaign said they weren't holding any political events today, and then they held a political event. and if the romney campaign was shut down today, what was john mccain doing in ohio attacking the president? karen finney and jonathan capehart will join me on that one, next. ah.
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put them on trucks and then we're going to send them into, i think it's new jersey is a site that we've identified that can take these goods and distribute them to people who need them. >> that was mitt romney earlier today at a campaign event that he pretended was not a campaign event in kettering, ohio. in the spotlight tonight, mitt romney's canned response. nbc's garrett hak eche reportedt at the noncampaign event, romney's buy graphical movie played in the background. one of romney's advisers said playing the movie blurred the line between storm relief and politicking. npr's ari shapiro tweeted that steven said, i don't know what happened, some volunteer just pressed play, i guess. and just like a typical campaign event, romney refused to answer tough questions. >> governor, what would you do with fema? what's your response? why won't you answer any questions?
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>> mitt romney had more to say about fema at a primary debate last year when he was asked whether states should pay for disaster relief themselves since fema was running out of money. >> absolutely. every time you have an occasion that takes something from the federal government and sends it back to the states, that's the right direction, and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask ourselves the opposite question. what should we keep? we should take all of what we're doing at the federal level and say what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do? and those things we have to stop doing. >> disaster relief, though -- >> we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. it is simply immoral in my view for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off. makes no sense at all.
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>> joining me now, msnbc's karen finney and jonathan capehart. karen, the craziest thing in that whole romneyism there is the idea that, no, don't just send it back to the state governments, send it back to the private sector. let the private sector go into new jersey today and get up in helicopters with the governor or their own helicopters, i guess, and look down and let the private sector decide what to do. it's utter madness. >> yeah, because the private sector's going to get in there and be really efficient and not worry about profit margins or anything like that. they're just going to get in there and do what needs to get done, right? i mean, come on. you know, this goes back to something, lawrence, we've talked about before, that part of the problem with mitt romney, remember when he made that comment, i thought, man, you have no idea how the world really works. i mean, as much as they criticized barack obama for not
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understanding america, a governor saying something like that who should -- and he's had floods in his state when he was governor. he of all people should understand that the federal government by law plays a very important role in terms of being a coordinating agency. once the president is able to say it's, you know, it's a certain kind of disaster, that kicks in all kinds of federal aid. that is critical and it's also critical to have the federal government as kind of that nexus point to help coordinate between state and federal and local governments. i mean, somebody who had been a governor should know that and should understand that there are times when that's very important. >> i want to show a little bit more of just how much the romney campaign was not campaigning in ohio today. here's john mccain in ohio with the romney campaign. >> this president is either engaged in a massive cover-up deceiving the american people or
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he is so grossly incompetent that he's not qualified to be the commander in chief of our armed forces. it's either one. >> jonathan capehart, that's what not campaigning looks like in romney world. >> yeah, clearly senator mccain didn't get the memo from the top of the ticket that, you know, they were supposed to be doing things to help people who had been ravaged by hurricane sandy. but, you know, senator mccain just -- i guess he had to tour etdit out of his system because this has been eating at him, the whole libya question and that's not to say there aren't questions to be answered, but they were supposed to be there to be focused on the victims of hurricane sandy, not blasting the president. and you juxtapose that to the president and what he's been doing in terms of making sure people in all the affected states and areas get the help they need. what they also should have done is taken a cue from governor christie about what they should have been focused on today.
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>> nate silver predicts that as of tonight, by the way, that president obama will win ohio and his chance of winning the presidency still very high. but the -- karen, i spoke to a former fema official earlier in the program and just asked him in budget terms what about a 40% cut in the fema budget, which would be the ryan plan, or what about some variation on that? call it 20%, call it 10%. what would it do in a situation like this? obviously he said it would be absolutely disastrous to their ability to respond to disasters. >> well, of course, it would be. i mean, look at what's happened. just suppose like the last five or six years we've had these kinds of massive disasters where fema has been needed to come in. the federal government has been needed to come in almost once every year. so when we have these conversations and these political fights, and that's really, frankly, what i think is a little bit shameful about the
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event that romney did today. i think it's fine to say to people, it's in our human nature, we want to get out there and kind of help. i wish he would have directed people to the most effective way to help the red cross. then to not have the guts to answer the question about fema and the role of fema after he stood on that stage and tried to puff up his chest and sound like he was this tough guy saying we need to cut fema, when the truth is if you talk to people like chris christie and other parts of the country who need fema's assistance, fema does play a very important role. you wouldn't know that from the bush administration, mr. brownie, but you would know that from the james witt era and from what we've seen recently, that fema plays a critical role. when you talk about cutting that budget, that's an abstract concept from what reality is on the ground when things are happening. >> karen finney and jonathan capehart, thank you both for joining me tonight. coming up, the last time "the des moines register" endorsed a republican for
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president, it turned out very, very badly for america and very badly for "the des moines register." they should have learned their lesson. that's in tonight's "rewrite." and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel.
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what are you waiting for? this is big news. okay. so if you're "the des moines register" and the last republican you endorsed for the presidency was the re-election of richard nixon, what about mitt romney would make you want to endorse him? what about mitt romney would remind you of nixon? that's next in the "rewrite." e e something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. we have so much technology in our store to really show the customers what's going on with their bodies. this is your body there. you can see a little more pressure in the shoulders
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how did "the des moines register" rewrite its endorsement of an obama presidency four years ago into an endorsement of a romney presidency now? by magical thinking. by adopting mitt romney's magical thinking. after saying, quote, the president's best efforts to resuscitate the stumbling economy have fallen short, the editorial then says that the problem with the economy is the consumers have to feel more confident, and without giving a single shred of evidence as to why consumers would feel more confident with a romney presidency, the editorial board simply believes it will happen. that's it. it will happen like magic. consumers must feel more confident about their own economic futures to begin spending on the products and services that power the economy.
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a renewed sense of confidence will spark renewed investment by american companies. industry will return to full production, and hiring will begin again." that is the entire case for romney. pure magical thinking that the very sight of mitt romney taking the oath of office will suddenly make consumers run out to best buy and load up on tvs made in japan. "the des moines register's" endorsement of romney is one of the most embarrassing endorsements in the history of that newspaper, not because they chose romney, not because they chose a republican, but because they gave absolutely no rational reason for it. they peg their endorsement to magical thinking. the editorial board admitted they had, quote, a vigorous debate over this endorsement which means someone in the room was trying to use evidence
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against magical thinking, and we all know how evidence works with magical thinkers. the editorial board made no attempt to be consistent with their last editorial endorsement for president. one of the reasons they endorsed president obama last time was that he favors a progressive tax policy, taxing those at the very highest rungs of income a little more to provide a little more help to those on the bottom rungs. "the des moines register" has now abandoned that as a reason for choosing a president. the editorial board has abandoned it in favor of this lie. there is not a lot of difference between the two candidates' short-term economic plans. four years ago, one of the biggest reasons "the des moines register" gave for endorsing president obama was expanding health insurance coverage to
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more americans will lessen the threat that illness will bring financial ruin. four years later, health insurance is not mentioned in their editorial endorsing the man who promises to repeal the obama expansion of health insurance that "the des moines register" advocated. another important reason cited four years ago in endorsing president obama was the supremely important reason of supreme court justices. obama promises to appoint justices with an expansive view of constitutional rights and equal justice. mccain's appointments more likely would continue the court's conservative shift and threaten abortion rights, search and seizure protections and other individual liberties." this year's presidential endorsement of mitt romney does not mention the supreme court. exactly the same paragraph could have been written in this year's editorial about the supreme
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court, and they just have to substitute the word "romney" for the word "mccain," but "the des moines register" editorial board no longer cares. they don't care about the united state supreme court, the number one reason to vote for president. that's how much they've rewritten their criteria for presidential endorsements in four years. can you imagine what that vigorous debate was like among the five people in "the des moines register" editorial board? you know someone in that room was just sitting there saying, you guys are crazy, read your own editorial from four years ago. you're crazy. we're flip-flopping more than mitt romney ever dreamed of. "the des moines register" has not endorsed a republican candidate for president in a very long time. the last republican they liked was richard nixon in 1972. they endorsed nixon even though
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nixon refused to debate the democratic nominee, george mcgovern. they endorsed nixon despite what they called, quote, much to criticize in the nixon administration. in endorsing nixon's re-election, the editorial board said, "we have seen -- we have been critical of the president's vietnam policy which ostensibly has been based on guaranteeing the south vietnamese the right to determine their own government, but which has had the effect of propping up a dictatorial regime imposed by us and prolonging the killing and destruction in a war which we should never have entered." so on the most important issue of that era, the life-and-death issue of the vietnam war, "the des moines register" completely disagreed with nixon. nixon had been elected in 1968 saying he had a secret plan to end the war.
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four years later he had done absolutely nothing to end the war, and "the des moines register" which was opposed to the war endorsed nixon's re-election. that same "des moines register" that never liked another republican for president until last week, "the des moines register" cared about the supreme court back in nixon's day, and they didn't like nixon's approach to the supreme court. in their endorsement of nixon's re-election, "the des moines register" said, "we have criticized certain mediocre appointments, notably some of the nominations to the supreme court, and the soft attitude on civil rights to woo southern support." "the des moines register" endorsed nixon after -- after the watergate burglary, which occurred on june 17th of that election year. in june of the election year, the democratic party headquarters in washington was
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broken into in the middle of the night, and instantly the entire world suspected richard nixon. in september of the election year, seven co-conspirators were indicted in the burglary including two men with strong ties to republican world. watergate got one line, one line in "the des moines register's" presidential endorsement in 1972. "we are disturbed by the watergate scandal and the evidence linking it with the white house." they were disturbed but not disturbed enough not to endorse richard milhous nixon. there wasn't a kid in my high school who didn't know that tricky dick was a crook, but "the des moines register" editorial board didn't know that. >> i'm not a crook. >> 19 days before "the des
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moines register" endorsed that crook, bob woodward and carl bernstein reported on page 1 of "the washington post," fbi agents have established that the watergate bugging incident stemmed from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of president nixon's re-election and directed by officials of the white house and the committee for the re-election of the president. everyone in american journalism was reading every word woodward and bernstein published in "the washington post" about watergate then. "the des moines register" editorial board read those words and then they endorsed the crook. so how hard was it for "the des moines register" to endorse a liar like mitt romney? well, it's not their first time.
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did "the des moines register" somehow divine what tax deductions and loopholes mitt romney is going to cut or eliminate to pay for his $5 trillion tax cut and report that to their readers in their endorsement of mitt romney? nope. they didn't even mention a $5 trillion tax cut, and they didn't say a word about being disturbed that mitt hasn't figured out how to pay for it. in 1972, "the des moines register" could have endorsed a candidate closer to their thinking than on policy. that candidate was the honorable senator george mcgovern, the anti-war candidate. the candidate "the des moines register" agreed with word for word on the most important issue of that era. the reason they didn't endorse him then was in the last line of their editorial. "good intentions are not
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enough," and so they endorsed a man with very, very bad intentions and a year and a half after president nixon took the oath of office, the house judiciary committee passed articles of impeachment against him. 12 days later "the des moines register's" choice for president, richard nixon, became the first and only person in history forced to resign the presidency of the united states. the last time "the des moines register" endorsed a republican for president, it turned out good intentions mattered, and they mattered much more than the editorial board realized, and, yes, good intentions still matter today.
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here's mitt's latest lie. >> i saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, jeep, now owned by the italians, is thinking of moving all production to china. >> that lie has now morphed into this television ad. >> who will do more for the auto industry? not barack obama. fact checkers confirm his attacks on mitt romney are false. the truth? mitt romney has a plan to help the auto industry.
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he's supported by lee iacocca and "the detroit news." obama took gm and chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who are going to build jeeps in china. mitt romney will fight for every american job. >> i'm mitt romney, and i approve this message. >> despite chrysler's flat-out denial of romney's china claim, the romney campaign took his lie a step further today with this radio ad in toledo, ohio, which is home to a jeep plant. >> barack obama says he saved the auto industry, but for who? ohio or china? under president obama, gm cut 15,000 american jobs, but they're planning to double the number of cars built in china, which means 15,000 more jobs for china, and now comes word that chrysler plans to start making jeeps in, you guessed it, china. what happened to the promises made to autoworkers in toledo and throughout ohio?
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>> that provoked a general motors spokesman to release this statement "we've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. no amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the u.s. and repatriating profits back to this country." and in an e-mail addressed to his employees today, chrysler's ceo said "i feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position. jeep production will not be moved from the united states to china. jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the united states and will constitute the backbone of the brand. it is inaccurate to suggest anything different." ari melber, i've just been trying to imagine what george romney would say if he was still running an american automobile manufacturer tonight and some candidate came out and lied about his company like that. >> well, george romney, he was the car guy, too, right? >> and he was the father of mitt romney. yes.
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>> look, the gm one is highly misleading. the jeep one is a total lie. if mitt romney was pressed on this in a court case, it would be perjury. you could go to jail for lying this straightforward and this obviously. so that's a huge problem for him and his trust and the fact they're doubling down on it tells you a lot about where they are at. you know, he was also pressed today to answer questions on fema. he wouldn't answer. they wouldn't state a position on affirmative action even though it was in the supreme court this year, and obama did. there are still important issues where they will not tell the truth or give any answer at all. >> and i -- he's not trying to trick the jeep workers in toledo who know the truth. >> right. >> he's trying to get other people in ohio who don't have someone at the kitchen table who can tell them exactly how it works at chrysler. >> yeah, this is sort of like targeting messaging for low-information voters. i mean to your point. >> and doing it at the last minute. >> the last minute. it's harder to rebut. and one other part of this i was going to say is that the corporations here who are


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